ACT and KINDNESS

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I feel so mean.  How can I become kinder?

A:  In becoming kinder to yourself you become kinder to others.

kindness

The Bible tells us to, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”  I remember as a little girl in Chapel thinking that this meant that you had to put others before yourself and think of others first.  As I remember nobody encouraged my to think otherwise.  I guess it suited them!

As a grown up I ‘m having a bit of a re-think.  This Commandment doesn’t say, “Love thy neighbour better than thyself, or less than thyself, it says as thyself.”  Although there are plenty of selfish, egocentric people out there, it seems to me that this world is also brim full of people who don’t love themselves very much and therefore are incapable of loving anyone else either.

If we want to be kinder generally there is a case for starting with ourselves.  Being kind to ourselves seems to me to be a pre-requisite to being kind to others.  So, instead of being mean with ourselves let’s try being generous with ourselves, instead of being harsh with ourselves let’s try being kind to ourselves.

In ACT terms this may mean we have to defuse from the stories that we have been telling ourselves.  They are only stories after all.  That little girl in Chapel listened to lots of stories and thought they were true as little girls often do!  When we are grown up though we have a chance to decide for ourselves whether these stories are useful or not.  If they work for us that’s fine.  If they don’t it may be time to let them go.

Today I am making a case for kindness beginning at home.

I wrote the poem “KINDNESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at being kind to yourself?
  • Is it time that you defused from some of your stories?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

TIP FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

Great Spangled Frittilary

KINDNESS

 

Let’s say a prayer for kindness, it’s our birth-right to be kind,

So if we want to be happy let’s our core of kindness find,

Let us poke around the embers ‘til they warm us from within

For it’s when we’re feeling warm inside that kindness can begin.

So the ear that’s poised to listen and the heart that opens wide

And the smiles bestowed unstintingly are fired from inside,

And it’s good that we remember that despite what others say

If we don’t top up the kindnesses we’ve none to give away.

So let’s start with little courtesies we to ourselves extend

Listen careful to the messages that mind and body send,

And if body is complaining or our mind is stretched and taut

Let us give ourselves some kindness if we’re feeling overwrought.

For there’s not one rule for others whilst our Self we disregard,

So if we’re tempted to be critical let’s play the kindness card

And not look on it as selfishness, but altruistically

For it’s when we are in surplus we can give it out for free.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “KINDNESS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT has a lot to say about the stories that we tell ourselves, the messages that we have internalised as children which may not be helpful to the adults that we now are.

ACT is not so much concerned with whether these stories are true or false but whether they are workable.  What workable means is are they working for us or against us in our lives now.  If a story is working, that’s great, it’s useful so hold on to it.  If it’s not then let it go.  It is just a story after all!

If you want to read more about stories and their impact, and discover ways to disentangle and unhook from unhelpful stories there are lots of ACT resources to help.  In my opinion, one of the best is Russ Harris’

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

pink kindness

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

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Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made Lyrical.com. I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

10 thoughts on “ACT and KINDNESS”

  1. Now here I have to disagree with some things; sometimes one can be very unkind to oneself and put others first as we feel unkind for not doing so. Self doubt and sometimes self loathing often leads me to do something I don’t really want to do preferring to please others rather than please myself as to do so would make me feel very selfish and bad! Loving oneself too much can make us very self indulgent and oblivious to the feelings of others. Some people suffer from loving themselves rather too much. Maybe, I just feel as though my boundaries have been challenged today!! As always, your blog gives real food for thought and do enjoyable to read xx

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    1. I don’t think there is any danger of you turning into someone who is over self indulgent and oblivious to the feelings of others!! On the contrary. But we do need to take care of ourselves before we are able to take care of others. And being kind to ourselves is not self indulgent. Treat yourself as least as well as you would treat me, your best friend!! Xxx

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  2. Nicely arranged blog, Corrine! I’ve come to believe that kindness is key to our happiness and that of others. I remember going through a very difficult crisis and felt others didn’t recognize that. Those who treated me with kindness were well appreciated. “Treat others with kindness. You don’t know what someone else is going through.” I’ve learned now to treat myself with kindness too! 🙂

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  3. Thanks for your interesting thoughts on kindness. No doubt in my mind that what is missing in modern life are the ideas loving-kindness and good will. These aren’t complex concepts to either understand or implement. We’ve got plenty of wealth in the world, and there are plenty of very smart people around—brilliant poets and writers, not to mention all of the philosophers, scientists, religious teachers, and powerful leaders of powerful countries. Yet, in spite of all of this wealth and all of these brilliant individuals, real peace and security in the world doesn’t exist. Something is missing. What’s missing is loving-kindness and goodwill among mankind. But to practice loving-kindness we must first adhere to the principles of non-violence and overcome selfishness. These are the first steps.

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    1. Well said. Given there is so much real goodness in the world it is incredible that it appears to be filled with so much trouble and suffering. Loving kindness is something which appears to be in short supply and yet …. All any of us can do is say, “Let it begin with me”. Remembering, that’s the thing.

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  4. One thing which has always aided me is to see that if I cannot employ grace toward others when they disappoint me, I act ually hinder the flow of the Grace of God in my life. It is circular, a circuit which should be continuous. Nice post, thanks.

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